European Parliament looking at sexualization of girls

From European Women’s Lobby:

The EWL is deeply concerned with the increasing sexualisation of young girls in media today. The problem of sexualisation refers to the imposing of adult sexuality on children, especially girls, at an age when they are mentally, physically and emotionally not ready. Further, it gives young girls the belief that they are valued on their physical attractiveness leading to an objectification of women. The issue of sexualisation can be seen everywhere today, in advertisement, computer games, movies, magazines, music, fashion, cell phones…

The problem has been acknowledged by the European Parliament. For this reason, a meeting was held regarding the sexualisation of young girls on 06 June 2012 in the Parliament aiming to raise awareness of the issue among public authorities and develop concrete strategies to combat it. This meeting was organised by MEP Joanna Skrzydlewska, author of the upcoming report, as well as the the EPP Group of which she is a member. Experts from all over Europe were invited to share their observations and experiences regarding the sexualisation of girls.

Sexualisation has become like a wall paper, all the time constantly in the background, to the extent that we do not even see it anymore as Dr. Linda Papadopoulos described it. Dr. Papadopoulos is a psychologist and an expert on the subject of the effects of sexualisation on young people. She presents statistics concerning the issue as well as concrete examples:

  • When asked about future profession, 62 % of young girls wanted to be a glamour models and 25 % want to be a lap dancers.
  • The playboy bunny is a logo on writing pads for young girls today.
  • There is a computer game where you score points for beating up a prostitute. This game was given 10 out of 10 in several reviews and the NY-times said it gave “a new level of depth for an interactive entertainment experience.”
  • Violence has been made into something sexy in media.
  • 1 out of 3 teenagers have experienced sexual violence from their boyfriends.
  • 11 years old is the average age of being exposed to porn.
  • 10 year olds are being sexually harassed in school.

Human trafficking

Women make up the majority of modern-day slaves in the world. They’re forced to work as sexual slaves in prostitution and strip clubs. (Men and boys are often enslaved as laborers). Women and girls can be shackled, beaten and raped, and forced to not look their “masters” in the eyes. The similarities to the Atlantic Slave Trade is striking; one difference, however, is that estimates place the number of modern-day slaves at a higher number.

Here’s a blog post from Amanda Kloer at Change.org on her 10 predictions for 2010:

Top 10 predictions for state of abolition in 2010: Sexualization to lawsuits   

This is particularly scary:

6. Increased sexualization of children. I hate to make this prediction, but 2009 trends indicate that in 2010, the sexualization of kids will increase. Whether it’s sexy Halloween costumes for tweens like Noah Cyrus, dolls that pole dance, or an increased pressure for younger and younger girls to slut it up MTV-style, the barrage of sexual culture aimed at kids is going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe 2011 will be the year we finally see a dip, but I’m not optimistic for 2010.

With our increased awareness of sexual slavery, pedophilia and incest, WHY are women being hypersexualized and children being sexualized? Does sex (let’s get real, we’re talking about female sexuality, for the most part) really sell? Is there proof to this or do we just buy into it? Is sexuality really liberating to women or is the “whorification” contributing to making us less credible and ignoring our real contributions to society? And while men are increasingly being sexualized, has it diminished their credibility at all? Is there a demand for male sexuality, whether by gay men or hetero women? Does it exist or is it ignored?